Qualcomm is confident its 5G innovations are here to stay and believes the next generation of mobile connectivity will ensure its long-term sustainable growth due to the "wireless edge" it has over its rivals, Barron's reports, citing a still-unpublished version of the company's latest 5G R&D update. The San Diego, California-based firm expects to achieve a level of dominance in the 5G patent segment that's comparable to the ubiquitousness of its 4G LTE solutions and older cellular technologies, all of which allowed it to enjoy steady growth in recent times.
Qualcomm Engineering SVP Durga Malladi confirmed the chipmaker is still hard at work ensuring it ends up being the supplier of "key components" for end-to-end 5G networking in the near future, with that effort currently involving collaboration with a wide variety of partners in the industry. The strategy suggests that Qualcomm will be doing what it can to maintain its focus on licensing even as legal battles with Apple and widely reported tensions in relations with other partners such as Huawei continue casting doubt over the long-term sustainability of its current licensing model that's facing increased opposition from a wide variety of companies. Still, the advent of 5G promises a new growth avenue for Qualcomm even if the company maintains its wireless commitment, with some industry insiders recently speculating that 5G alone may be enough to make Apple and Qualcomm bury the hatchet.
Following the collapse of its move to acquire Dutch NFC pioneer NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm has little choice but to make an all-in bet on 5G, at least in the medium term, with the firm being left without a clear alternative fast track to significant diversification. The technology juggernaut is presently also in the process of conducting the largest stock buyback plan in its history that's seeking to reacquire some $30 billion worth of its shares. 5G should already start impacting Qualcomm's bottom line next year, which is when all major carriers in the U.S. will start large-scale infrastructure deployments with the goal of offering nationwide next-generation coverage by 2020.